It’s common knowledge that long-distance relationships require a lot of work, but how exactly does that translate? Which are the most prevalent and significant issues in long-distance relationships? Can they be fixed, or are most long distance relationships ultimately doomed?

Don’t despair! Long distance relationships can totally work. For a while, they might even prove to be beneficial to you.I know this first-hand—I met my husband via email when he was living 7000 miles away.

However, let’s be realistic, too. Long distance relationships are tricky to navigate well. Additionally, there are some specific long-distance relationship issues that do not equally affect same-city relationships.

Now let’s examine a few of those. What issues arise in long-distance relationships most frequently, and how should you handle them?

Long distance relationship problems

Feeling like you’ve got nothing to talk about

Have you ever been in a rut and found it difficult to come up with topics of conversation with your long-distance partner? Have you ever felt heartsick with longing to be with your partner, but also feel like you just have the same-old tired conversations over and over again when you get on the phone?

One of the most typical issues with long-distance relationships is this one. These sorts of “dry periods” are normal in long distance relationships, but that doesn’t make them any less depressing and frustrating.

What’s the fix?

One easy short-term fix for this is to come up with some questions to ask your significant other! Take out a pen and paper, and make a list of ten questions you would like to ask them. Alternatively, you can save time by getting a book of discussion questions that will provide hours of entertaining and interesting conversation. This is a nice one for LDR couples:

Another helpful tip is to try to relax about this. Everyone in a long distance relationship goes through periods when they feel they don’t have much to talk about. There may be a phase in which you communicate daily, and there may be periods when you only speak once every few days.That is typical. Don’t let it freak you out.

2. Talking TOO much

Indeed, it is.

Spending endless hours on the phone or Skype every day in a new long-distance relationship can create an intensity that advances the relationship too quickly and create intense communication patterns that may be challenging to break later.

Even in a more established long-distance relationship, you shouldn’t talk so much that it significantly interferes with other crucial aspects of your life. 

That lack of balance will only hurt you in the long run.

What’s the fix?

Ask yourself what’s really at play here.

Do you get the sense that your SO is not responding to you as quickly as you’d like sometimes because they’re genuinely busy or they need some time alone? Or are they routinely blowing you off and leaving you in limbo for long periods of time?

Are your hopes and expectations about response time reasonable? And are they coming mostly from your genuine excitement to connect with your SO, or are they often coming from a place of needing the contact and reassurance that they are interested in you to feel happy?

Seek methods to raise your sense of security and self-worth and develop greater ability to handle uncertainty if your expectations are unreasonable or primarily stem from your own need and insecurity (see point 8). Check out this article on constructive communication as well.

What’s the fix?

Try to talk, text, and write at a pace that feels sustainable and balanced, and make sure you are still spending some energy and time on other important things in life (fitness, friends, and other sorts of fun). Check out this article for a more in-depth look at this issue.

3. Needing them to answer immediately

Have you ever texted someone and then waited impatiently for them to respond immediately, fixing your gaze on the phone?

We all have, right? But for some of us this becomes a pattern, a habit, or a “need.” We start to expect and need them to pick up the phone every time we call, and answer every text or email straight away.

Long-term, this kind of pressure and neediness is bad for your relationship and indicates that you don’t feel very secure in the partnership or in yourself.

4. Divorcing

Life goes on even if your love travels far away and certain parts of your relationship halt or slow down. Just because the person you love isn’t with you all the time doesn’t mean that you stop developing, learning, and evolving.Neither do they. You are both accumulating experiences. Some of these experiences will change you.

It may be more difficult to recognize your partner’s changes in a long-distance relationship and to follow them through that process.

It is also true in reverse.

Regardless of your love for one another, there’s a good chance that a gradual drift during your separation will drive you apart in ways that frequent flier miles cannot reverse.